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ilovevienna1 Mar 11th, 2012 10:13 PM

8 Day Vacation in Milan
I will fly into Milan mid-May and am going to stay in Milan for 8 full days (excluding travelling days). I am doing lots of research on the city, and it seems very interesting. There are so many churches, monuments, and palaces that represent the Lombard art and architecture tradition from the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-Classical to the early 20th century Modern (my favorite) eras.

However, as I am doing more research about what others think about Milan on the internet, they all say that it's not very pretty, or not very interesting, and that there's only shopping (which I am not interested at all, although it will be nice to see the famous designer shops). Will I be disappointed by Milan?

And I am not interested in going to Rome, Florence, or Venice. I have lived in Rome for 3 months (which means that I am not interested in going back), been to Florence many times, and Venice (It was not for me) many times. I will always love Rome, but I want to see something new. What is your thought about Milan? As for side trips, I am interested in Turin, the Lakes (only one day), and Genoa. What do you think about these cities? Thank you! I appreciate this a lot.

Apres_Londee Mar 11th, 2012 10:33 PM

I haven't been to Milan myself, but it is the favourite city of one my best friends.

And there is a poster here, MademoiselleFifi, who likes Milan and has written at least one (maybe more) trip reports about it- if you do a search for her name they should turn up.

You're right that a lot of people don't seem to care much for Milan, and the advice is always "skip Milan, skip Milan".... I would say, don't listen to them :)

You already have a lot experience in Italy, so don't be afraid to trust your own head and heart on this one.

zeppole Mar 11th, 2012 10:41 PM

This is good website for Milan:

I always have quite a good time in Milano, but I would sooner pick Torino for a week's stay than Milano for early 20th c. architecture and, in general, it has more attractions. But with an agenda to visit the lakes, Milano makes the better base.

Genova is a bit far for a day trip. You might consider instead Bergamo, Mantova, Bologna, or Verona (or a visit to Pavia or Vigevano if that interests you).

No one knows if you will be disappointed in Milan, but it is a short train to many other quite different places if it does.

annw Mar 11th, 2012 11:19 PM

We spent a long weekend in Milan in November, and we enjoyed it very much; we did go see the Last Supper, La Scala, and of course the Duomo, where we went up to the rooftop for a nice look around.

We could have used another couple of days to hang out in the Brera district and several other very walkable areas. We did get to the Galleria which is a lovely stroll even for nonshoppers.

But were I planning the trip I would also head out of town to Torino, Bergamo, or a lake town.

I once went from Milano Centrale to Cinque Terre with a friend where we stayed a couple of nights in Monterosso before heading to Florence. Of course hanging out in Lombardy/Piedmont makes more sense time and travel wise.

Suja Mar 11th, 2012 11:48 PM

I've been to Milan a few times but never liked it. There is so much of Italy that I love but somehow Milan is..different. Torino I liked better, I've spent a few days in and around Bergamo one time and spent another holiday exploring the lakes area, both of which I liked much better.

ilovevienna1 Mar 12th, 2012 10:20 AM

Thank you for all the responses! I greatly appreciate them!

It's going to be interesting to know a different side of Italy.

For those who like Torino, how many days do you think I can do the city some justice? If I go there, I would love to see its baroque monuments and visit the lavish interiors. I do love baroque art almost as much as I love Art Nouveau/other early 20th c. movements. Will it be very rainy during mid-May?

Thank you

zeppole Mar 12th, 2012 10:50 AM

It is hard to predict spring rains in northern Italy, but generally May has pretty weather. But no guarantees you wouldn't see a downpour or a few days of rain in a row. You just have to keep your fingers crossed. Fortunately, with the exception of the lakes, the interesting parts of Milano and Torino are mainly indoors, and both cities have glassed in galleries (and in the case of Torino, poricoed streets) to help keep you out of the rain.

Torino has a couple of vast palaces, plus several excellent museums -- including the marvelous cinema museum. This is an EXTREMELY old and now out of date mini-tour of the city, but maybe it would give you some idea of how long you would want to spend there. (Bear in mind that the cinema museum is now re-opened, the Egyptian museum was never renovated, and Stupingi is shuttered for repairs):

Maybe you could consider arriving in Milan but heading directly to Torino for 3 nights. That way, if you felt you wanted more of the city, you could daytrip back one afternoon from Milan. But if you want to see the lakes -- which are beautiful in May -- then Milan is much better base. A trip to Lago Maggiore will consume a day, A trip to Lago di Como another day. You probably need 2 full days in Milan to see the architecture you want to see, and 3 would probably be better. If you were very selective about which places you actually enter in Torino (not every palazzo, not every museum), you could enjoy a lot in Torino in 3 days.

But do get your hands on an up-to-date-guide for Torino.

ilovevienna1 Mar 12th, 2012 08:24 PM

Wow, zeppole! Thank you! That will get me started!

I can't wait to go there. I am sure Torino has lots to offer, esp. in the field of baroque art. And Milano still looks very interesting to me regardless of what people say. Its interpretation of the Renaissance is unique, if not first-rate, and its culture is chic. Plus, there seems to be so many ancient Romanesque churches in Milano. I am excited that it has a lot to offer even though people say it's ugly.


MellisaTurner Apr 2nd, 2012 10:59 PM

There are many different areas in Milan but Brera is most famous for its nightlife and restaurants. Milan is the home for home goods and furniture, making it a shopper's paradise. View and shop in the world's oldest mall would give you a travel experience wit a difference.

MellisaTurner Apr 2nd, 2012 11:00 PM

There are many different areas in Milan but Brera is most famous for its nightlife and restaurants. Milan is the home for home goods and furniture, making it a shopper's paradise. View and shop in the world's oldest mall would give you a travel experience wit a difference.

FoFoBT Apr 3rd, 2012 12:59 AM

I worked for a few years with a company based in Milan so I made several trips there (and am going back in early June as a day trip from Lugano). I like it. No, it's not as pretty as other Italian cities, but it is interesting.

I also agree with the rec for Turin - I spent five days there last year and enjoyed it. I stayed at the Hotel Victoria.
Very pleasant - comfortable beds, lovely salons overlooking pretty garden, free computer for guests, excellent breakfast, indoor pool, etc. Just one caveat: weak water pressure in the showers.

If you want to stay put in one place for eight days, fine, why not. Milan is a major hub in the national train network so you have plenty of easy day trip options (assuming there are no strikes...).

However, if you decide to move around, a possible itinerary: 3 nights Milan, 3 nights Turin and 2 nights on Lake Como (maybe making the Lake Como part in the middle of the week, esp if you stay in Bellagio, which gets crowded on week-ends. I've been to Bellagio during the week in mid-May and it was absolutely delightful).

TDudette Apr 3rd, 2012 11:58 AM

Amazingly, I agree with everything said above. My DH and I went to Turin for 2 nights. We took a bus from the Malpense airport and I believe it took a little over 2 hours (sorry my notes don't say). In our 2 nights, we saw the Shroud of Turin, the Mole (cinema info per zepp), Egyptian Museum, and walked and walked. Buildings in main square were being renovated. Food amazing!

You could go to Como or Maggiore from Turin and see how many days you wish to stay in that area, then end up in Milan for the rest with an easier trip to the airport. Or just go back to Milan and day trip to the lakes.

On another trip, we trained from Bologna to Ravenna-Esina and ferried to Bellagio for 3 nights. Upon our visit to Villa Carlotta, the docents said "come back in May and see the gorgeous azaleas!" You might prefer 2 nights to have longer in Milan.

It annoys me when someone says "you won't like it" based upon their own experience, so stick to your guns, ilovevienna1! And do report back.

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